St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs
Date and Time: Saturday, September 29, 2018, 1:05 p.m. ET
Location: Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
MLB Odds: Check Back Later
Probable Pitchers: Miles Mikolas vs. Cole Hamels
Cardinals at Cubs TV Coverage: FOX
To turn the season around so dramatically after the manager change only to see it all come crumbling down when it matters most has to be eating away at Cardinals fans right about now. Most shocking about the sweep just incurred at the hands of the Brewers is the fact that St. Louis entered that series playing some great ball in winning series against the Braves and Giants.
Terrible pitching and even worse defense ultimately did them in as they went on to get outscored 20-9 and committed at least on error in each of the three games. Hardly a shock considering no team has committed more blunders in the field than that of the Redbirds. Even so, they’ll head to the corner of Clark and Addison confident having won 44 of their 78 overall played road games ( $1088 ).
Drug stores all across the city of Wrigleyville might have to order some extra Pepto Bismol as tough a final week it’s been for the current NL Central leaders. After taking two of three from the White Sox in the Crosstown Classic, the Cubs returned home for an extended four game series with the Pirates. They held a 2.5 game lead atop the standings when it began.
With three games in the books, that lead has been trimmed down to just half a game. Now all of a sudden, the prospect of needing to play their way into the playoffs has become a reality even though Joe Maddon’s squad has sat atop the division standings since the beginning of July. Had they not gone on to defeat the Buccos in extra innings Wednesday night, they’d actually trail the Brewers by half a game heading into Thursday’s series finale.
Miles Mikolas – The righty has proven to be the team’s staff ace leading the rotation in wins ( 17 ), ERA ( 2.94 ) and WHIP ( 1.09 ). The Cardinals have come out on the right side of the scoreboard in 23 of his 31 made starts, and he’s undefeated on the road where he checks in 9-0 with a 3.84 ERA and .271 BAA. He’s been dominant against the Cubs this season in going 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA and 1.22 WHIP through 18 innings over three starts. St. Louis came out on top in two of them.
Cole Hamels – Once Hamels arrived in Chicago at the beginning of August, he immediately paid dividends. The veteran was exactly the jolt of energy Maddon needed within his struggling rotation. Chicago went on to win each of his first six starts as a Cub with the lefty delivering quality efforts four times. That said, he’s yet to earn a win in his last six starts and enters start No. 32 on the year a loser in his last two. This will be his first experience as a member of the Cubs/Cards rivalry. He’ll have to be on top of his game with St. Louis 26-21 against lefties while plating an average of 5.2 runs per game ( No. 2 ).
Cardinals at Cubs Picks
It’s high time the Cubs finally got to Mikolas this season. He’s given up a grand total of 4 ER through 18 combined innings against them to date. No better way to kick start a postseason run than by finally going off against a starter that’s owned you. Mikolas is way overdue for a shellacking, and the Cubs are just the team to give it to him.
Hamels has surrendered 22 hits in his last 18.2 innings, and the Cardinals have teed off on left-handed pitching all season. I don’t foresee his final regular season start being one to remember. The over has cashed on the MLB betting odds each of the last six times these hated rivals squared off at Wrigley Field, and I don’t foresee that streak coming to an end in this one.
MLB Pick: Bet the Over at BookMaker.eu
MLB Score Prediction: Chicago 6 – St. Louis 5